Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan
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Parties, treats, fun food, decorations; every year I have a goal to shower my kids with all the fun of the Halloween season. I love celebrating holidays with special foods and treats but I also want to feel good about what I serve my family. They get enough sugary treats at school and dance throughout the month of October. We need healthy Halloween treats. And while I know this is not an everyday thing, it’s important for me to show my children that it is possible to have fun and celebrate Halloween all while being healthy.
I came up with these festive candy corn parfaits when Doodlebug was just shy of 2-years-old. She has been extremely sensitive to refined sugars since the beginning. So my goal was to create a fun treat that she could eat. I also wanted something that would be fun for Little Bear who, pre-family lifestyle changes, was used to super special Halloween themed goodies through the month of October. (A.K.A. sugar, sugar, sugar.)
Candy corn parfaits deliver FUN and of course, a sweet treat. These aren’t hard to prepare but take a little prep.
My original recipe used a homemade dairy whipped cream. Little Bear has made a few friends that are dairy intolerant. So, I revamped these parfaits for those that need – or want – to avoid dairy. This recipe now utilizes my new love, coconut milk. Coconut milk is rich, creamy, and mildly vanilla-tasting making it the perfect secret ingredient for dairy-free whipped cream.
While we’d like to think all fruit is created equal, it’s not.
I’ll admit, to avoid all the extra . . . well, extras . . . in canned mandarins and pineapple, I used to just opt for the fresh stuff. And actually, I prefer the taste of fresh pineapple and oranges. However, as the kids get older, life gets busier and I like the option of using a healthy canned fruit. I have found Dole mandarins in a jar to be the cleanest orange option in my stores. And a few brands of pineapple are solely packed in juice. I like Libby’s brand. Just be sure whatever brand you pick up, of either fruit, is packed in 100% fruit juice. NO SYRUPS. (OH, and no extra weird ingredients.)
Tips for whipped coconut cream
What I’m about to tell you is probably the single most important part you will read today . . .
Chill yo coconut!
And make sure you use FULL FAT coconut milk in a can. Full fat coconut milk has lower water content. And because the water will keep your coconut from whipping into beautiful soft peaks, we gotta do what we can to eliminate it.
This is where the chilling comes in. You must chill the canned coconut milk in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The longer the better. Chilling helps the water separate from the cream. The water will settle to the bottom and the cream will float to the top. Once chilled and firm, you can just scoop out the cream and leave the water in the bottom of the can. (But save this tasty liquid for a smoothie. Your welcome. You’ll thank me later.😁)
After that, the hard part is over. And that wasn’t even hard! Continue by whipping up the cream with sweetener and vanilla in a chilled bowl using a handheld mixer. Coconut cream takes about 2-3 minutes to whip up all the way. Here we just want soft peaks.
Assemble the Parfaits
All that’s left is to assemble. Begin by filling clear glasses with equal amounts of pineapple and mandarin oranges. Top each glass with a nice healthy portion of your dairy-free coconut cream. Serve right away or store in the fridge until dessert time. The cream holds up well to the cold. Just be mindful that the fruit could weep if it isn’t fully drained.
I’d love to see your finished candy corn parfaits. Make sure to snap a photo and tag me (@thebourboncactus) on Instagram and Facebook with the tag #thebourboncactuscooks . I can’t wait to see how much you love it!
Candy Corn Parfait, Dairy-Free
- Handheld mixer
- strainer or colander
- 1, 13.5 oz can full-fat organic coconut milk unsweetened
- 1, 23.5 oz jar Mandarin organges drained
- 1, 20 oz can pineapple chunks drained
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp monkfruit sweetener i.e. Lakanto classic
- Place an unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. You can leave it for longer, but the coconut milk needs at least 12 hours to chill and separate.
- When the coconut milk is chilled, place glass or metal bowl in the refrigerator while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- While your bowl is chilling, begin layering clear glass or cups with 1/2 cup drained pineapple followed by 1/2 cup of the drained Mandarins.
- Remove chilled bowl and coconut milk from the refrigerator. Carefully, without tipping the can, open the coconut milk. Gently scoop out the top layer of cream from the can and into the chilled bowl, leaving the coconut water in the bottom. (Reserve water for use in a later recipe.)
- With a handheld mixer, begin whipping the coconut cream for 1 minute on medium speed. Stop and add in the vanilla and sweetener. Continue to whip until soft peaks form, approximately 2 minutes.
- Once the coconut cream has been whipped to soft peaks, top each glass with cream, approximately 1/3 cup each.
- You can serve immediately or refrigerate for later. Enjoy!